Trump Targets Clinton on Tenure at State Dept.
Seeking to reshape the narrative of the presidential race, Donald Trump on Wednesday lambasted his rival Hillary Clinton as a failed secretary of state with a proven record that disqualifies her from being president.
“The Hillary Clinton foreign policy has cost America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars – and unleashed ISIS across the world,” Trump said during a speech at Trump SoHo Hotel in Manhattan on Wednesday. “No Secretary of State has been more wrong, more often, and in more places than Hillary Clinton.”
Trump pointed to Clinton’s handling of the Arab Spring in Egypt and blamed her for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the emergence of ISIS. Before she took over as Secretary of State, “Egypt was governed by a friendly regime that honored its peace treaty with Israel,” Trump said. “The Egyptian military has retaken control, but Clinton has opened the Pandora’s box of radical Islam.”
Asserting that Israel has been mistreated by the Obama administration, Trump added, “Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and on the road to nuclear weapons,” whereas before she came into office, “Iran was being choked by sanctions.”
“She lacks the temperament, the judgment and the competence to lead,” Trump said two weeks after Clinton branded him as being “temperamentally unfit” to serve as president and called his ideas “dangerously incoherent.”
“The choice in this election,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said, “is a choice between taking our government back from the special interests, or surrendering our last scrap of independence to their total and complete control. Those are the stakes. Hillary Clinton wants to be president. But she doesn’t have the temperament, or – as Bernie Sanders’ said – the judgment to be president.”
Trump promised to “impose tough new ethics rules to restore dignity to the Office of Secretary of State” without being specific.
Trump also attacked Clinton over her email server scandals, as well as her domestic policies. But the main theme of the speech was aimed at defining Clinton as a Washington Insider, part of the problem, and as an implementer of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.
It should be noted that Clinton left the State Department in 2013 as an overwhelmingly popular figure on the national stage. Sixty-nine percent of Americans approved of the job she did as the country’s top diplomat, according a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, with only 25% disapproving of her performance.
Clinton’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was rocky at times, albeit she was the only U.S. Official who managed to get Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sit together at the negotiation table to discuss a peace settlement. Clinton also takes credit for assembling the coalition that implemented the sanctions regime on Iran, ultimately forcing the ayatollahs to negotiate a nuclear deal with world powers.